Frontier Country

A hauntingly beautiful region, arguably the crucible of South African history, Frontier Country is a vibrant mix of all the best that Africa has to offer

Eastern Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Frontier Country, Eastern Cape

A hauntingly beautiful region, arguably the crucible of South African history, Frontier Country is a vibrant mix of all the best that Africa has to offer. One of the premier tourist routes in the Eastern Cape, it has a turbulent past, with more forts than the rest of South Africa combined.

Where? Frontier Country, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Overnight? See Frontier Country accommodation, in Eastern Cape

Now no longer the scene of conflict and strife, Frontier Country is the historic heartland of the Eastern Cape and embodies the spirit of the many and varied cultures who met here and made their mark - Khoi, Xhosa, Boer and British.

They brought with them a rich heritage that can still be seen today in towns and villages all over the Eastern Cape. With Grahamstown at its centre, Frontier Country is one of the most diverse ecological regions in South Africa, with a variety of biomes that provide unspoilt and spectacular scenery.

Thousands of hectares are devoted to nature and game conservation, bringing with them the return of great herds of wildlife to the places where they once roamed freely.

This malaria-free region is fast gaining local and international popularity for excellent game-viewing with a variety of private reserves which include the Big Five.

Popular Towns in the Frontier Country

Alexandria

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Alexandria lies en route to Bushman’s River Mouth and Kenton-on-Sea just 50 kilometres from Port Alfred, roughly halfway between Durban and Cape Town. It is described as a friendly farming community that sustains itself from chicory...

More information and photographs: Alexandria Information

Alicedale

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Lovely Alicedale, in the interior of the Eastern Cape, lies in Bushmans River Canyon in the shadow of the Swartwatersberg hills, roughly an hour’s drive from Grahamstown. This charming Victorian village that provides a real ‘dorp’ experience...

More information and photographs: Alicedale Information

Bathurst

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Seeped in the history of the Eastern Cape's tumultuous past and personifying the essence of the brave and hardy English Settlers which while giving it a distinctly English rural feeling, it's beautiful indigenous trees such as the giant...

More information and photographs: Bathurst Information

Colchester

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Lying on the banks of the Sundays River, just 20 minutes’ drive from the coast of Port Elizabeth, lies Colchester in a part of the country that remains largely unspoilt, surrounded by sand dunes that date back about 100 000 years. Colchester residents...

More information and photographs: Colchester Information

Fish River

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The Great Fish River, distinguishable from the Namibian Fish River by the word ‘great’, that runs through the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa, flows for some 690 kilometres before reaching the Indian Ocean 60 kilometres southeast of Grahamstown...

More information and photographs: Fish River Information

Grahamstown

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Regarded as the heart of the tourist route known as 'Frontier Country', Grahamstown, along with towns like Alicedale, Sidbury, Riebeeck East, Hogsback and Alice, is part of one of the most diverse ecological regions in South Africa, with thousands...

More information and photographs: Grahamstown Information

Greater Addo

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Greater Addo is largely dominated by the Addo Elephant Park, the boundaries of which now extend right from the edge of Darlington Dam in the north to Colchester at the coast, incorporating the beautiful Sundays River Valley. However, the region...

More information and photographs: Greater Addo Information

Jansenville

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Lying north west of the upper reaches of the Addo Elephant National Park, Jansenville lies in the Eastern Cape's nature and conservation region, an area of roughly 438 000 hectares of managed nature reserves that are committed to protecting bio...

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Kirkwood

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The farming community of Kirkwood, in the heart of the Sundays River Valley, close to the town of Addo and the northern regions of the Addo Elephant Park, would arguably remain in obscurity were it not for the Kirkwood Wildlife Festival in June...

More information and photographs: Kirkwood Information

Nanaga

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The somewhat obscure little village of Nanaga scores by dint of the fact that it is ideally placed on the South African map. Not only is it virtually just outside the Greater Addo Elephant Park, but it is also a short drive from the Sunshine Coast and...

More information and photographs: Nanaga Information

Paterson

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In the foothills of the Zuurberg Mountains, bang in the middle of game reserve country, lies the little village of Paterson - named after its founder, John Paterson. Not quite midway between Shamwari and the Addo Elephant Park, you would be right...

More information and photographs: Paterson Information

Riebeek East

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The little village of Riebeek East, virtually lost in time such that, if it weren’t for the growing interest in eco-tourism in this part of the country and it’s proximity to both Grahamstown and the Addo Elephant National Park, it would remain...

More information and photographs: Riebeek East Information

Salem

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Salem is en route from Kenton-on-Sea to the N2. It falls within a 50 kilometre radius of the popular town that is typically awash with wild flowers, rolling hills, pineapples and long winding valleys that make a fascinating drive. That Salem lies...

More information and photographs: Salem Information

Sidbury

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Lying in the midst of what is considered 'frontier country', Sidbury is one of several quaint little towns, with Grahamstown as their centre, that make up one of the most ecologically diverse regions in South Africa and the heart of thousands of...

More information and photographs: Sidbury Information

Did you know?

Grahamstown is not known as the town of 60 churches, or the city of saints, for nothing. It is steeped in colonial English history, filled with historical buildings and churches, and is also a university town – which goes some way to explain its reputation for tolerance and left-of-centre thinking.

The worlds of music, art and performance converge in the chilly university town of Grahamstown every winter.

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